Nov. 20, 2009
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After losing its first game of the season, 74-66 at Middle Tennessee on Thursday, Lamar travels to Lubbock to face an undefeated Texas Tech squad that has a pair of wins over fellow Southland Conference members A&M-Corpus Christi and Northwestern State. It marks the second game of a four-game road trip that will see the Cards play at MTSU, Texas Tech, Ohio and Marshall. This is also the first time in school history an LU squad has played four-consecutive non-conference road games in four different states. Jack Martin's 1963-64 team actually played five games in five different states with the second of that skein coming at home.
Six Road Games in 18 Days
Beginning with Thursday's game at Middle Tennessee (Nov. 19) and ending with a road contest at Hawaii (Dec. 6), Lamar will play six of seven games on the road in a span of 18 days.
This is the fourth all-time meeting between Lamar and Texas Tech. The Red Raiders won the first game, 83-68, on Dec. 13, 1979 in a game played at Lubbock's Municipal Coliseum. The Cards dropped a narrow 79-77 decision at the United Spirit Arena on New Year's Day two years ago before LU claimed an 85-78 victory before a season-high 6,182 fans at the Montagne Center.
Lamar enters Saturday's game with a 13-37 all-time record against Big 12 member schools. Since the league's inception, the Cardinals are 3-8 with wins over Baylor in 1997-98, Texas A&M in 1999-00 and Tech last season, which snapped a six-game losing skid to league schools.
About Texas Tech
Texas Tech is now 4-0 on the season after defeating Northwestern State 94-75 in Lubbock on Thursday. The Red Raiders have wins over South Dakota, A&M-Corpus Christi and Oregon State with all of those coming in three-consecutive days in the Basketball Travelers Duel in the Desert in Lubbock.
Mike Singletary (17.3) and David Tairu (13.0) lead the team in scoring, while Darko Cohadarevic (9.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and D'walyn Roberts (9.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) are the pace-setters on the glass. Point guard John Roberson (8.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg) has 16 assists and six steals to complete the starting five. All five starts average at least 23 minutes per game.
The Red Raiders went 13-18 a year ago and finished 11th in the Big 12 with a 3-13 mark.
Pat Knight is in his third season at Tech since taking over for his father, the legendary Bob Knight, late in the 2007-08 campaign. He has compiled a 22-27 record.
Marathon Road Trip Underway
Lamar will have just two non-conference road trips during the season and they will come over the next three weeks. The current trip will see Big Red hit the road for games at Middle Tennessee, Texas Tech, Ohio and Marshall in a seven day stretch. The travel for those games is quite extensive.
Not counting trips to and from the arenas for practices, shoot-around and the games themselves, the travel party will log 569 miles on the road in charter buses and 4,248 flight miles on six flights.
Following a home game next Saturday against North Carolina A&T, the Cards will play at Denver and Hawaii before a six game home stand.
Cards Venture On The Road For First Time In 09-10
This four game road swing will mark the first for the Cardinals this season. Prior to Thursday's game, Lamar's 15-man travel roster included just five players who had seen action in a Division I road game. Lamar went 2-3 in non-conference road games a year ago, defeating Louisiana-Lafayette and Rice, before losing at Kentucky, Louisville and Memphis. LU now has a four-game non-conference road losing skid.
Harper Busts Out At MTSU; Now Averaging A Double-Double
Sophomore F Charlie Harper had a breakout game on Thursday with a career-high 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to register his second-career double-double. For the season, the 6-foot-7 San Antonio native is averaging 10 points and 10.3 boards and is second on the squad in field goal shooting, converting 54.5 pct. of his attempts. He also made a 3-pointer last in the contest to bring his career totals in that category to 3-for-7 (.429). He ranks second in the SLC in rebounds and is first in defensive boards (8.0).
Miles Blowing His Freshman Season Out of the Water Early On
Yes its early, but a quick check of the numbers posted by sophomore PG Anthony Miles show that he has improved in just about every category by a substantial margin over his rookie season in which he appeared in all 30 games with 12 starts. This season he is shooting .560 from the floor (compared to .413 in 08-09), .455 from outside (.213) and .722 from the charity stripe (.610), while posing averages of 15.3 ppg (6.3) and 8.0 boards per outing (2.8).
Nabors Picking Up Where He Left Off Two Years Ago
Senior F Justin Nabors missed last season with a leg and elbow injury but he doesn't appear to have missed a beat with his production. Through the first three contests the Holly Springs, Miss., native has raised his ppg and rpg totals, while maintaining his steady shooting touch that has consistently been just over .500 throughout his career. He currently ranks third on the team in scoring at 12.7 and rebounding at 7.3. He recorded his sixth career double-double in the season-opening win over Huston-Tillotson with 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Rebounding A Strength For Lamar Thus Far
Lamar has demonstrated a very strong work ethic in all three games, but especially when attacking the glass at both ends of the floor. Lamar currently ranks second in the SLC in rebounding offense (41.3 rpg) and first in rebounding defense (30.7 rpg). As a result, the opposition has averaged just 11.3 second chance points per game, compared to 15.0 for LU.
Turnovers Continue To Drop
One of the more visible stat categories to head coach Steve Roccaforte during the opening three games has been the turnover column. After committing 24 in the opener, he continued to stress ball control to his guys in recent workouts. They appear to be listening as Lamar has cut down on its miscues in every game thus far, going from 24 to 19 against UTPA and 15 on Thursday at Middle Tennessee. The Cards had 10 TOs at the half against MTSU and committed just five after the intermission and just two in the final 10 minutes and zero in the final 6:45.